How You Can Revamp Your Travel Nursing Resumé

The demand for highly-trained, compassionate nurses has never been higher, and travel nursing has become a lucrative option for many nurses. Travelers help fill the gaps in nursing care and make it easier for permanent staff to deliver quality patient care. Not to mention, travel nurses also get to explore the country and receive a significant pay bump. However, landing the perfect travel nursing job requires a high level of detail within your resumé.

Whether you are trying for your first travel nurse contract or are an experienced travel nurse, your resumé should highlight your flexibility, adaptability, initiative, and exceptional skills. The right travel nursing resumé will get your career started on the right foot. Luckily, we know how to help.

Why Do Agencies Want a Travel Nursing Resumé?

Well, there are multiple reasons. First, resumes are incredibly important. In fact, according to one study, 90% of employers say they look at resumes before making a hire decision. So, having a good resumé is essential.

Second, applying for a job is often a very lengthy process. You have to fill out a form, submit your resumé, wait for the employer to contact you, interview, wait for the offer letter, accept the offer letter, sign paperwork, wait for the paperwork to clear, and finally start work. All of that adds up to months.

Third, most people abandon the process because of the length of the application process. Many people simply give up because they realize how much time it takes to go through the entire process. 

Fourth, potential employers want to see what kind of person you are as a professional. They want to know if you can handle yourself well under pressure, be flexible with scheduling, and be able to work independently. These are traits that are extremely valuable when working in the travel nursing industry. 

So, Why Do You Need a Strong Resumé?

A resumé isn’t just a list of your job titles, dates of employment, and contact numbers. A well-crafted resumé tells a story — a compelling story about who you are as a person and why you’re qualified for the role. It’s essential for every job seeker, whether you’re looking for full-time or contract work.

Your resumé is basically a sales pitch for you. Make sure it accurately reflects your career goals and highlights your strengths. Don’t try to hide anything; your resumé is a chance to show off everything you’ve done professionally. Be honest and open about your weaknesses, too. Recruiters will notice if you’re trying to fake something out of thin air.

5 General Travel Nurse Resumé Tips

1. Stick to the Big Six

Every travel nursing resumé should always have six primary sections. The order of these sections is not set in stone and can change depending on the position listed and other factors. The most common order is:


Highlight your strengths and what you bring to the table. If you’re brand new to travel nursing—or nursing in general—summarize any skills or experiences you’ve had that apply to nursing.


A brief section where you list your specialty, the number of years you have worked in it, and your personal reasoning for nursing.

Licenses and Certifications

List every single nursing license and certification you’ve earned, including any specialty or advanced certifications such as CCRN, TNCC, CEN, etc.

Professional Experience

Detail your employment dates and nursing experience in reverse chronological order. New grad nurses can also list any nursing school clinical experiences that were unique or highlighted their ambition.

Computer Skills

Many travel nurses have used various charting systems, and hospitals are seeking travel nurses familiar with their own. Make sure to add any relevant skills to show employers your experience. 


Add your degrees and the institution you obtained them from. You can opt to add your GPA with the month and year of your graduation from the program.

2. Remember the Applicant Tracking System

If you’ve ever submitted your resumé to an employer online, chances are that they entered it into an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS is software that scans key elements and qualifications of your travel nursing resumé that an employer is seeking. The computer looks at this information before anyone else to reduce the time recruiters spend on individual resumes, so you want to use this system to your advantage. To ensure the computer ranks your resumé highly, try to mirror the job description and keep the format clean and uncluttered to avoid confusion. Do not use special fonts, colors, or non-standard font sizes, as these can be hard to read.

 3. Use Spell Check

Misspellings and grammatical errors are the most common mistakes and quickest way to have your resumé thrown out of the pile. Besides using spelling and grammar checkers, read every line out loud and get a second pair of eyes on it if possible. This makes it easier to locate any mistakes before you send it off. Attention to small details will set you up for success when creating your travel nursing resumé.

4. Choose Your Words Wisely

Swapping certain words for more active ones can increase your chances of landing an interview. Use your nursing vocabulary to convey professionalism with words such as coordinated, diagnosed, monitored, regulated, and trained. You want to tell the reviewer exactly what you did on the job and precisely how you did it. Action words will make your story more impactful.

5. Don’t Worry About the Length

Your travel nursing resumé should include all relevant job history and any special skills/certifications you have obtained. It can be longer than one page—that rule is not applicable since you need to provide a complete picture of your nursing career. Keep in mind that even a short stint in a particular nursing area may be useful to the travel nurse agency in finding you a travel nursing job if you have only had one nursing job make sure to list all your responsibilities, any floating experience, and skills that impress and could be helpful in any hospital.

3 Common Travel Nurse Resumé Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: Being too Modest

Hiring managers and recruiters know what it takes to land a job, whether it’s nursing or another industry. But some applicants are too modest to realize how good they really are. A recent study found that hiring managers and recruiters agree that arrogance is the number one mistake candidates make during the application process. They say confidence and humility go hand-in-hand. 

Mistake #2: Generic Descriptions

Generic descriptions make it hard for hiring managers to see how someone could fit into the team. Instead, you want to use words that show off your knowledge of your field. For example, if you work in healthcare, you’d probably mention things like “patient care,” “medical terminology,” “hospital administration,” etc. If you work in marketing, you’d talk about “marketing campaigns,” “advertising,” “social media,” etc. Don’t just list keywords; explain why they apply to you specifically.

When describing your previous roles, provide examples of how you used those skills. This way, hiring managers can see how you’ve applied your abilities in the real world. Also, be prepared to discuss your career path. Let hiring managers know what steps you took to get to your current position. Did you go straight to school? Or did you start out in another industry? How did you learn everything you needed to know? What did you study? What certifications did you earn? Think about how you can add value to the conversation.

Mistake #3: Exaggerations

Though hiring managers like to see confidence, there is a fine line between being confident and over exaggerating things. The best way to handle exaggerations is to acknowledge them while still being truthful about what happened. If you’re trying to make yourself look good, don’t lie. Instead, use honest words that show how well you handled things and focus on how you can improve your skills. 

Take The Next Step

Upgrading your travel nursing resumé is an excellent way to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Make sure your resumé reflects all your hard-earned accomplishments. Every travel nurse specialty is unique, so tailoring your resumé to each job is key for a successful placement.

Take a look at our job board for the latest travel nurse jobs in the top travel nurse locations!

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